Herefordshire Council is to vote on a motion calling for it to recognise the state of climate emergency, at its meeting on Friday, March 8th.

This follows pressure from local Extinction Rebellion activists, working together with councillors from the It’s Our County and Green Party groups. If the Council declares, it will join a growing number of councils who have done so already, including Cheltenham, Forest of Dean, Powys, Machynlleth, Somerset and Carmarthenshire.

Local Extinction Rebellion activists have collected and hand-delivered almost 300 letters addressed to individual Herefordshire councillors, asking them to give climate change action much higher priority. Young people, including students at Hereford Sixth Form College, have also joined the campaign.

Kate Bull, a spokesperson for Herefordshire Extinction Rebellion, said, “The question for councillors is: are you going to be leaders or laggards? The Council has already taken much positive action to combat climate change, but we now know we are facing an unprecedented climate emergency. We’re asking the Council to acknowledge this, and to step up its response with renewed urgency on behalf of the people it represents across this county.”

Extinction Rebellion activists will be outside the Shire Hall from 8.15am on Friday morning, to demonstrate the strength of support for the motion and to urge all councillors to vote for it. They will also be present in the council chamber to hear the debate and to witness the vote.

Extinction Rebellion was formed in October 2018 and is the fastest growing social movement of a generation. It wants the government to tell the truth about the climate emergency and act now to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025, as well as establishing a citizens assembly to oversee the changes necessary to do so. The movement has attracted huge support locally and there are now active groups in Hereford, Kington, Ross, Leominster and The Golden Valley. Groups all round the UK are now working towards a concerted action in London, from the 15th April until the government agrees to its demands.See this week’s paper for more stories like this, available in shops and as a Digital Edition now.